Question 6: How many people survived the prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia?
There were about 45,000 Union prisoners at Andersonville. Something like 13,000 of them died there, so there was about a 27% casualty rate. The biggest Union POW camp was in Elmira, NY. There was less excuse for the approximate 25% casualty rate for Confederate prisoners there since the Union, in contrast to the South, was thriving throughout the war. But those were very hard times and very hard people.
Question 7: Would you consider Robert E. Lee a traitor?
Robert E. Lee was still in the U.S. Army in early 1861 and he received a promotion. When you receive a new rank, you take a new oath of allegiance. You swear to defend the United States of America against any enemy, foreign or domestic. Within weeks of taking that oath, Robert E. Lee was a domestic enemy of the nation he had just sworn an oath to defend. That pretty much makes him a traitor I’m afraid.
I think the Southern aristocracy—which Lee was part of—had such a high opinion of their personal “honor” that whatever they did had to be honorable because it was their honorable selves doing it. I also think that their absolute power over their black slaves, and the iron handed rule they had over their plantations and their society gave them a bad case of arrested development. Their actions and opinions were so unchallenged that they had been gradually lulled into simple-mindedness.
Question 8: What was your favorite map to make? Why?
I really can’t say which was my favorite map to make. Each mapping project is really exciting, first because it’s a new job and it means money and it means you’re going to be profitably and happily employed for months and that’s nice. And it’s also wonderful to have a new subject to delve into, to dig around for resources and information. So I like that. It’s also a lot of fun to do the drawing and I really enjoy, for example, doing the lettering of the map titles. I usually meet some interesting people and get to travel to interesting places when I do the research…And as I got better at doing the maps, the ones done with more expertise were more enjoyable than ones done early on that I look back on and wish I’d done a better job. Long and short, I guess I’d have to say my favorite map is the one I’m working on or the next one I’m about to do. I guess my Pearl Harbor map is right up there though.